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Old Feb 9, 11, 7:32 am   #1
Join Date: Dec 2007
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First trip to Scottsdale Feb 17-19 - Any Recommendations?

Hi everyone! I'm tagging along with hubby (a first for me, he usually tags along with me on my business trips) to a conference in Scottsdale next week. We're only there for two days - arriving Thursday PM, leaving Sat PM, which is a bummer, but what can you do when you're married to a medical resident? It's my first trip to Phoenix / Scottsdale (and really, to the Southwest for that matter). We're staying at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas since that's where the conference is. I see another thread for restaurants in Scottsdale / Phoenix so I'll read through that for recommendations there.

Does anyone have recommendations on must-do activities in the area?

Another question - do I need a rental car?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by lsukd928; Feb 9, 11 at 7:36 am. Reason: edited to update restaurant info
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Old Feb 9, 11, 8:43 am   #2
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Originally Posted by lsukd928 View Post
Does anyone have recommendations on must-do activities in the area?

Another question - do I need a rental car?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
Need a rental car? Certainly not. But given where you are staying, it would be extremely difficult to get around without one. I'm not sure of that specific property, but many of the local resorts have a car rental on-site. You should look into that, and you could just book one for a day, or two if you want.

If you've never been to Arizona before, I'd highly recommend the Desert Botanical Gardens, in Phoenix on Galvin Parkway between Van Buren and McDowell. There are both paved and dirt trails that wind around, you'll get to see many types of desert plants, with great signs, and the guides there are awesome. There is one trail that has a little climb, well worth it for some views of town.

It would be possible to take a bus down Scottsdale/Rural Road to Old Town Scottsdale and the ASU area...you could explore the galleries, some restaurants...then Town Lake and Mill Ave. Actually, there is an Old Town Trolley, not sure where it stops, but you may look into it, and perhaps your hotel has a shuttle.

Further afield, you could do a drive out on the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flat, I'd plan a 1/2 day for that. You could even do a daytrip to Sedona. The Musical Instrument Museum is fairly new, in North Phoenix. There's downtown Phoenix, with baseball and basketball, as well as the football and hockey areas in Glendale.
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Old Feb 9, 11, 2:15 pm   #3
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I suggest a trip to the Heard Museum in central PHX. Good place to get lunch and see what the natives have been up to the last 1200 years or so....
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Old Feb 11, 11, 10:46 am   #4
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Keeping in Scottsdale, therefore walking or a cab may work for some, consider: Talisin West, Cosanti Fondation, Scottsdale Historical Museum, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, The Borgata of Scottsdale (shopping in "Tuscany"). Lots of trails for hikes. Phoenix opens up numerous doors for activities including a very good Zoo.

Scottsdale has a free Trolley/downtown shuttle 480-970-8130. A couple of the stops on Scottsdale Rd are , I believe, very near your hotel. this might save you some money.

February starts 17th the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, continuing thru your stay.

Don't live there so that's all I have to contribute, but we have been there a few times.

Have a great time.
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Old Feb 11, 11, 2:02 pm   #5
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If you like baseball, check and see what is happening at the spring training camps. It's a little early, but the Giants are based in Scottsdale and I'm sure there will be some activity going on there.
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Old Feb 12, 11, 8:26 am   #6
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Sounds like you'll be there for about 48 hours. If you like shopping, go to Scottsdale Fashion Square. If you like culture and museums, second the Heard and Musical Instrument Museum. If you like outdoors, go to Botanical Gardens, and/or hiking at Pinnacle Peak or Pietswa Peak. I usually take out of towners to eat at Banderra's in Old Town and up to Sedona for a day trip, even if they're in town for just 2-3 days.

Would give Tempe a pass. Same for Apache trail; I'd rather go to Sedona. Baseball spring training, pitchers and catchers report but games don't start until Feb 27.

A car would make things easier. Unless you just want to lie by pool and enjoy weather, not that there's anything wrong with that!
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Old Feb 14, 11, 10:40 am   #7
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Originally Posted by JerryFF View Post
If you like baseball, check and see what is happening at the spring training camps. It's a little early, but the Giants are based in Scottsdale and I'm sure there will be some activity going on there.
Also this year the Diamondbacks and Rockies have moved from Tucson to Scottsdale (near Indian Bend and 101 or Pima).

Personally I wouldn't waste time in a museum unless it is a rare rainy or cold day. February can have some great spring weather (today will be 79, dry, sunny and clear although it might be changing by the time you arrive on Thursday) and is best spent outside (hiking, golfing, dining, etc.).

For the short period you are in town for pick one thing that sounds interesting and do it. There are plenty of high end restaurants around your area (for example Flemings), golfing (Camelback Padre Course is nearby and very nice) and high end shopping like Fashion Square (not exactly a tourist thing IMO but for some people it may be).

If you do rent a car trying to avoid getting one at the airport since they add on some extra taxes and fees (plus Phoenix is one of the highest car rental fee destinations) but since you are only around for a day it won't be too bad. Taxis can add up and Scottsdale isn't exactly a good public transportation city.
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